Ambulance Requirements and Deployment
The problems associated with determining the need for and deployment of emergency vehicles add to the consideration of location efficiency the dynamic problems of dispatching and relocation idle units as a result of the activity of others. Although many aspects of this applications are common to all emergency vehicles — fire, police, rescue, etc. as well as ambulance — each had its own unique characteristics.1) For example, fire engines rarely respond to alarms singly, police are often on moving patrol, etc. The applications discussed here are those concerned explicitly with ambulances and not with the general problems of emergency vehicles. In this, a more restrictive view of the problem area is taken than that of REVELLE ET AL. (1977) who provide a current and excellent review of models which have or could address the deployment cf emergency medical vehicles.
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- 1).A general review of studies performed in emergency vehicle loca-tion was prepared by Chaiken and Larson ("Methods for Allocating Urban Emergency Units: A Survey," Manag. Sci. 19:110-130, 1972).Google Scholar
- 2).Several articles attack this problem on a theoretical basis. Carter et al. ("Response Areas for Two Emergency Units," Opns. Res. 20:571-594, 1972) examine the interacting effect of two emergency units, using queuing theory and a birth and death process. Larson and Stevenson ("On Insensitivities in Urban Redistricting and Facility Location," Opns. Res. 20:595-612, 1972) demonstrate that the reduction in the mean travel distance and thus mean response time varies little if a random deployment is repositioned optimally. Neither article, however, directs its analysis particularly to ambulances.Google Scholar
- 1).A related article, dealing with measuring consumer preference is that by Wind, Y. and Spitz, L.K., "Analytic Approach to Marketing Decision in Health Care Organizations," Opns. Res. 24:974-990 (1976). As this research does not describe methodologies for decision-making on the basis of these measures, it is not included in this review.Google Scholar
- 1).Toregas et al. ("The Location of Emergency Service Facilities," Opns. Res. 19:1363-1373, 1971) present one such approach in an article which, although not specifically health oriented, can be so applied.Google Scholar